May 15, 2009
This release sent at the request of the Alachua County Health Department
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Health Department has reviewed the results of recent soil samples taken from the easement along the west border of the Koppers industrial site and in street rights-of-way approximately 100 feet west of the Koppers site. Levels of dioxins, arsenic, and benzo(a)pyrene in some surface soil samples tested are above the State residential standards.
While the preliminary test results do not indicate an immediate health hazard to area residents, the Health Department recommends the following precautions:
Children should avoid playing in the 15'-20' City of Gainesville easement just west of the Koppers facility western boundary fence between NW 26 Avenue and NW 30 Avenue. Children under the age of six are at a higher risk of exposure from incidental ingestion (swallowing).
Area residents should practice good general hygiene including hand washing with soap and water after contact with bare soil.
The US Environmental Protection Agency is the lead agency for environmental monitoring and clean-up of the Cabot/Koppers Superfund site and has indicated they will require the responsible parties to conduct additional sampling to further define the area and extent of contamination. The Health Department will continue to evaluate the health risks as more test data becomes available.
The Alachua County Health Department will continue to work with Alachua County, and the City of Gainesville to inform citizens about health risks associated with this issue. The three agencies are working to schedule a public meeting in the near future.
To view the soil the soil sampling results click here
For more information, contact Alachua County Health Department Environmental Health Director Anthony Dennis at 352-258-0257
For toxicology information, contact the Florida Department of Health, Health Assessment Team Leader Randy Merchant at 850-245-8444 ex. 4240
To contact Scott Miller, United States Environmental Protection Agency Section Chief in charge of this Superfund Site project, call 404-562-9120